Remembering David Halberstam

The late David Halberstam was a journalist, heart and soul, with a distinctive way of writing history

DAVID HALBERSTAM had put the finishing touches on his final book, The Coldest Winter, in the spring of 2007, just five days before his tragic death in a car accident in California. He had essentially finished the book months earlier, but with a book there is finishing, and then a little more finishing, and then a final finishing, and after months of revising, checking and rechecking, slashing, inserting, and wrestling with endless pages of manuscript and printed proofs, he stopped by his publisher’s office on an April Wednesday and dropped off his final corrections.Read more »

A Life In The Loser’s Dressing Room

A talk with the superb journalist and sports report who was the co-author of MASH and wrote Ernest Hemingway’s favorite fight novel

By the time Bill Heinz was in his late twenties, he had gone from copy boy to star war correspondent and had witnessed the Normandy Invasion, the execution of German spies, the liberation of Paris, and the deadly fighting in the Huertgen Forest, where “in a place that had once known a cathedral’s quiet...

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A Sporting Life

The author of America’s best-loved baseball book speaks of his days as a reporter, of his time (unique among sportswriters) owning a team, and of his latest subject, Jack Dempsey, whose violent career he uses to illuminate an era

Born in Brooklyn in 1927, Roger Kahn learned early the difference between the bright grass at nearby Ebbets Field and the poetic grass that was, as his antibaseball mother read to him from Whitman, “the beautiful uncut hair of graves.” Kahn’s literate sport-mindedness, so admired over the years by reviewers of his lyrical yet savvy memoirs and baseball histories, can probably be traced to the dining-table arguments of his Brooklyn teacher parents (the classicist, sports-phobic mother, Olga, and the Dodger-friendly historian father, Gordon) debating baseball’

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The Tennis Racket

How a Courtly Game Became Big Business

The gifted Australian tennis champion, Mervyn Rose, was not much in favor of vigorous training regimens, but he did once admit that during the 1950’s he enjoyed running along the bridle paths of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. In addition to helping him to get in shape for the French title matches, the exercise provided Rose with a rare opportunity actually to earn some money from his chosen sport. Read more »

Gentlemen Afield

They went to the woods with rod and gun—and gloves, servants, caviar, and champagne

A strange word suddenly appeared in the American vernacular after the Civil War. The word was “sportsman.” It served to define a certain kind of gentleman who took his leisure with rod and gun. And that was the curiosity of it, for the pursuit of fish and game on this continent had seldom before been associated with leisure. One hunted or fished in order to eat. The rod and the gun rested next to the ploughshare. Men who went afield for amusement were regarded as scalawags undoubtedly cursed with addiction to liquor, cards, and cockfights as well.Read more »